17

The Biennial Bears’ Bonfire – Part 2

Background: Every two years Zeke, Anthony, Joe, and Benjamin got together for a week-long camping trip at the lake. One of the highlights of the trip was story-time around the bonfire. This year’s topic is “Chance Encounter With Another Species”. It is Anthony’s turn to speak. You can read Zeke’s story here.

🔥 Black Bear with a salmon in its mouth : NatureIsFuckingLit

You guys know how much I  like to fish. I’m always the first one out there and pride myself on catching my own. I leave the ones that are already dead for the old guys or someone who has a bad day.

Last fall, something strange began to happen. I’d catch a fish and before I had a chance to get out of the water, this young eagle would grab the fish out of my mouth. The strange part was that as soon as he was away from me, he’d drop the fish.

Grizzly Bear and Bald Eagle (With images) | Bear fishing, Grizzly

The first time, I was annoyed. Stuff like that happens. I caught another fish and went home. The next day was fine, but after that it was a daily occurance.

Bald eagle and brown bear at Katmai National Park | Smithsonian ...

I couldn’t figure out what was happening. Was the poor bird hungry and just not able to hold onto his dinner? Was he incredibly clumsy? It looked like he was doing it on purpose, but that seemed pretty stupid.

I was riding a Washington State ferry when a bald eagle plucked a ...

My son Davey had been pestering me to go fishing. One sunny day, I decided to take him with me. I was teaching him some of the secrets to really good fishing. He was practicing and came up with a really nice salmon. When he turned to show me, that stupid eagle swooped in to grab it.

  How to Survive a Bear Attack: Brown Bears, Black Bears, and Polar ...

I went racing toward the eagle. He was so startled that he missed his target and skidded into the water. I started to laugh. He was fine, but his dignity was suffering.

Eagle and the Bear

I told the eagle that we needed to talk. My son was standing on the side of the river waiting. I told him that I would only be a couple of minutes.

I asked the eagle what he was doing. The eagle explained that it was a game. He was waiting to see how long it was before I got angry. He was pretty sure I’d be able to catch another fish and and not  go hungry.

I told him that he had achieved his goal. I also told him that if he tried it with my son again, he’d better start looking for another river. I think I scared him because I never saw him again.

Too much to bear? Amazing photographs show cub in Russia ...

I caught a fish after that and Davey and I enjoyed a picnic on the sunny river bank. We took a nap in the sun before we went home. The next time we went fishing, I told him show to protect his catch.

Ten Best in 2014 | Bear, Animals beautiful, Brown bear

Next week: Joe’s story.

All pictures courtesy of Google Images

 

 

28

2018 Animal Olympics – Week 2

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Riki T. Tavi here. Welcome to our summary of the second and final week of the 2018 Animal Olympics. Of course, the big surprise this week was the withdrawal of the highly favored reindeer team from the Sleigh Pull.

Rumors have swirled that members of the team failed a drug test. The truth is that the “failed” test was a pregnancy test. Roxy, the leader of the team, is going to have a calf in the spring. Animal Olympic rules prohibit participation of pregnant athletes due to the possibility of being kicked.

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The Dall Sheep had their appeal over the conditions of the ski slope rejected, so the standings are unchanged.

The week was full of surprises. Now on to our commentators.

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Harold Hare – Cross Country Tracking

The non-carnivore competition was a real disappointment. First, only four teams qualified for the race. Of course, the snowshoe hares were brilliant in finding the food we had distributed on the track. The beavers fell asleep and missed the race entirely. The squirrel team was fun to watch although their constant playing on the track was somewhat of a distraction.

Gold: Snowshoe Hares; Silver: Squirrels; Bronze: Mice.

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The carnivore competition was much more intense. Generally, the field is all mammals. The birds prefer to compete in the Raptor Grab. However, this year the arctic owls decided to enter the tracking hunt. With nests on the ground and their outstanding hunting skills, they were sure to be a threat.

The arctic foxes weren’t intimidated. They had inspected the field closely and were confident of their abilities. The wolverines had edged the wolves in the semi-finals to get the last spot in the finals.

It was a good fight. Unfortunately for the owls, one of their players got side-tracked by some non-competition prey and was eliminated for leaving the track.

Gold: Arctic Foxes; Silver: Wolverines; Bronze: Arctic Owls.

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Bruno Brown Bear – Ice Hockey

In recent years, the sport has been dominated by the bears. A combination of intelligence and strength has been the key. But this year there was a surprising new challenger. The dogs decided to enter a team of border collies.

The bear teams weren’t concerned. Who ever heard of dogs on ice? They concentrated on their usual threats, the otters and the seals. Both teams were fast, with plenty of experience moving chunks of ice.

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Fans were stunned when the border collies beat the black bears in the semi-finals. The dogs were fast learners and agile on the ice. The final four teams were the brown bears/grizzlies, seals, polar bears, and collies. The match-up between the brown bears and the seals wasn’t close, with the bears winning 6-0.

In the other game, it appears that the polar bears may have gotten a little over-confident. The collies took them to double-overtime and finally won, 2-1. So it was brown bears v. collies for the gold and silver, and seals v. polar bears for the bronze.

Gold: Brown Bears/Grizzlies; Silver: Border Collies; Bronze: Polar Bears.

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Arnie Kestrel – Raptor Grab

As usual, the Raptor Grab was an intense competition. The rules state that the contestants can only score with specially marked fish. However, there is nothing in the rules about taking another competitor’s fish before crossing the line.

A new member of the arctic owl team repeatedly brought back ineligible fish, leaving the team out of the finals. The bald eagles were eliminated when two of their team members lost fish in fights.

The finalists were the red-tailed hawks, the snowy owls, and the golden eagles.

Gold: Snowy Owls; Silver: Golden Eagles; Bronze: Red-Tailed Hawks.

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Rodney Reindeer – Sleigh Pull

As Riki said earlier, the favored reindeer team withdrew at the beginning of the week. As a result, we saw some different competitors joining the now-favored moose in the finals.

The sled dogs decided to field a team this year. Traditionally a strong competitor in the race, the dogs have been sitting out a suspension following that unfortunate incident in 2010. That team turned over the sleigh, but continued to run for a distance. The bears riding inside were dragged along with the sleigh. Once the bears and the dogs were released, there was a terrible fight.

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The final place was taken by the horse team. The horses fielded a good team, but their lack of experience at an elite level showed. It turned into a showdown between the moose and the sled dogs. The dogs had an emotional edge, trying to redeem their reputation. They edged the moose by less than a second.

Gold: Sled Dogs; Silver: Moose; Bronze: Horses.

It’s Riki again. I hope you enjoyed our coverage of the 2018 Animal Olympics. We hope to see you in 2022 when we’ll be covering the Winter Animal Olympics in Beijing.

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